Share “Possible consequences to Prater's actions”

Possible consequences to Prater's actions

Published: March 16, 2013

In 2009, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater charged pharmacist Jerome Ersland with murder after Ersland killed an already immobilized robber. Prater noted the pharmacist exceeded his authority to defend himself and acted as “judge, jury and executioner.” Is our district attorney taking a cue from Ersland in filing charges against members of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for violating the Open Meeting Act?

We need more attention paid to the Open Meeting Act; seeing interest in enforcement would be refreshing if Prater was pursuing a matter not so near and dear to Prater. If Prater disagrees with decisions of the board, he should argue his case before the board and the public. But finding technicalities to mount charges against board members when their real offense is making decisions with which Prater disagrees is a dangerous overreach like that of convicted murderer Ersland.

Prater's action invites serious consequences. It weakens support for the Open Meeting Act if prosecution becomes a tool for political retribution rather than a means to promote transparency. This may lead informed citizens called to jury duty to listen more favorably to any defense claim of prosecutorial bias. This could also further cool whatever support exists for a new county jail.

The district attorney does not and should not control the Pardon and Parole Board. If Prater doesn't or won't understand this, and continues to act like a bully, he needs to go.

Tom Daxon, Oklahoma City

Daxon is a former state auditor and secretary of finance under Gov. Frank Keating.


  1. 1
    Where does OU rank among college football's running back units?
  2. 2
    The best jobs for every personality type
  3. 3
    Lankford: Changing Washington 'takes strong families, strong churches and strong communities'
  4. 4
    Trial delayed for former sheriff's deputy charged with sexual battery
  5. 5
    County Commissioner booked on new charges; discussion on ouster set for Monday
+ show more


× Trending opinion Article